Future Careers for the Emerging Generations

Thursday, January 05, 2017

In Australian there are more than 3.7 million school students around 1.5 million university students with another 1.2 million tertiary students in the vocational education sector. This means that more than 1 in 4 Australians are students and so an understanding of the future of work is an important area. 

Based on the current trends, almost half of the Year 12 students about to complete their exams will end up with a university degree. While they will start their earning years later, they will live longer and work later in life than any previous generation – on average, into their late 60’s. They will stay on average 1.8 years per job early in their career and average about 3 years per job over their working life which means they will have 17 different jobs in their lifetime, across an estimated 5 careers.

Some of the jobs they will hold don’t currently exist, just as mainstream jobs today such as app developer, social media manager and cyber security professional didn’t exist when they began their schooling. Already, working as a virtual reality engineer, cognitive computer expert, data visualisation designer or medical nanotechnologist is nothing unusual. This is very relevant in an area where almost 2 in 3 workers (63%) are white collar, employed in professional, managerial and administrative roles compared to less than half the workforce nationally (49%).

The last few years of disruption has shown us that any role that can be replaced by technology will be. While technology is great for automating systems and replacing repetitive functions, it is not strong at adapting to complex change and engaging with people. Therefore, to future proof careers and skills, today’s young people will need to develop their social interactions, their creative problem solving and their resilience to adapt to a constantly changing workplace. In other words, by being collaborative, responsive and innovative, today’s local students will be enabled to thrive in global careers, now and over the decades ahead.


1. Let’s look at education in Australia, how many students are there?

A total of 6.4 million students in Australia. 3.7 million school students, 1.5 million uni students and 1.2 million tertiary students in the vocational education sector.

2. So how will employment and careers look in the future for these current students?

Firstly, they will live longer than previous generations, work a lot later as well – into their late 60’s, they will move jobs more frequently, staying about 3 years per job, which means they will have 17 separate jobs in their life time and work in an estimated 5 careers. They will be a generation of lifelong learners having to plug back into education to upskill and retrain throughout their lives. In this era of online services like Uber, Airtasker and delivery services, we have seen the rise of the “gig-economy” and more of this generation will end up being freelancers, contractors or contingent workers than ever before. Recent research shows that a third of the national workforce currently participates in contingent work, and more than 3 in 4 employers believe that it will be the norm for people to pick up extra work through job related websites or apps.

3. So what are some of the jobs of the future and what is creating them?

Technology is the first driver. While it is replacing many jobs as seen in manufacturing sector it is also creating many new jobs such as virtual reality engineers, cyber security, nanotechnology digital services, block chain engineers.

4. Are there other factors that are creating emerging jobs?

Yes, the demographic change is creating new opportunities. Australia is growing and the ageing population means that we will need more people in health care aged care and retirement services than ever before. Our increasingly culturally diverse population is creating greater opportunities for people working human services, social work and translation services. And social trends and generational changes are creating new opportunities too. It’s a visual area, so data visualisation or indeed virtual reality applications have created new and emerging roles. Our lives are more complex and in an era of mobility, app development, user experience manager and online shopping experts have emerged to respond to our new customer needs.

5. So how do we future proof our careers in times of great change?

Firstly, be responsive. Everything that can be automated will be and if a job can be done more efficiently through technology, outsourcing or offshoring then it will be. Therefore we need to look at our industry and career and respond to the trends both local and global and upskill and retrain to remain relevant.

Secondly, be innovative. Computers are great at doing repetitive tasks but they are not designed to being creative or add innovation. If we can develop the ability to solve problems, improve systems, be proactive and add value our roles will be indispensable.

Finally, be collaborative. Future careers involves not just an understanding of technology but an understanding of people. Those who can effectively communicate, deal well with others, create a collaborative environment, lead people and motivate teams will always be in demand, and these are areas that computers cannot replace.

Results from the Education Future Report 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Australians are more educated today than they have been at any other point in history. The number of students completing undergraduate and postgraduate courses today is on the rise and for the first time in Australian history more than half the population aged 15-64 have a post-secondary qualification (51%). Over 70% of the newest wave of high school graduates, Generation Z, are pursuing further education and training, with almost half of them going on to university. How is today’s education system providing for this Generation of lifelong learners? This Friday we are looking forward to co-hosting the Education Future Forum with SCIL, to provide an overview of the current and future trends impacting the Education Sector. Here is a snapshot of some of the current and future trends in primary and secondary schools across Australia, from our Education Future Report 2016, which will be shared in detail at this Friday’s event.


Australia currently has more students enrolled in full-time education than ever before. In 2015 there were 3,730,694 students enrolled in Australian schools. This is a 1.5% increase from 2014 and a significant 14% increase from 2001.

Since 2001, the growth in the total number of students (14%) has far outweighed the growth of actual schools (2%), the result of which has been growth in larger schools (801+ students for primary and 1200+ for secondary). The nature of these growing schools is changing as well, with more students enrolling in Independent schools than ever before.


Since the 1970s there has been a significant rise in the proportion of students enrolling in non-government schools. Whereas non-government schools educated only 22% of all students in 1970, by 2015 that figure had risen to over a third (35%).

While government schools continue to educate the majority of Australian students (65%), enrolments at Catholic (21%) and Independent (14%) schools are on the rise and show that Australians value choice, and today’s parents are prepared to pay for an education if they feel it will align more closely with their values, expectations, and aspirations.


In 2015, there were 382,687 full-time equivalent teaching staff over primary and secondary schools in Australia, which is a growth of 13% since 2005. Of these, 240,882 (63%) taught in Government schools, 72,812 (19%) taught in Catholic schools and 68,994 (18%) in independent schools.

The total number of male teachers has grown between 2005 and 2015 by 3% compared to 18% growth in female teachers over the same period. Comparatively, Government schools have a lower percentage of male teachers than Catholic and Independent schools.


Bringing together the best of McCrindle's research and analytics with SCIL's hands-on experience and innovation, the Education Future Forum is an opportunity for educational leaders and practitioners to engage in the dialogue around the future needs, trends and directions in education. The day will inform and inspire those who are seeking to understand this generation and simultaneously envision a school where the learning captures the hearts and minds of young people. There will also be the opportunity to tour Northern Beaches Christian School, to see students and teachers in action and view the learning spaces.

View the full program
& purchase your ticket here.

The 2016 Education Future Forum

Friday, November 04, 2016

On Friday, 25th November, 2016 McCrindle Research is teaming up with The Sydney Centre for Innovative Learning (SCIL) to host the 2016 Education Future Forum (EFF).

The EFF will inform and inspire those who are seeking to understand this generation and simultaneously envision a school where the learning captures the hearts and minds of young people.

This one-day event will showcase results from new research on the education sector with a niche focus on the future of education. The research explores the trends, themes and influential factors that relate to the future of education in Australia. Areas scoped through the research include technology, generational transitions in staffing and leadership roles within the education sector, pedagogical styles, physical learning spaces, social licence, needs of students of the future and broader demographic shifts across Australian communities.



Date: Friday, the 25th of November 2016

Time: 9:30am - 3:30pm

Location: Northern Beaches Christian School (1 Echunga Road, Terrey Hills, Sydney NSW 2084)

Cost: $249 

Parking: Available onsite at no cost

Registrations: Click here to register.


Check out the full program and purchase your tickets here

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


goal TAS winter blues conference speaker cancel plans suburban living australian communities trends report social change greatness media trends of 2016 sector wide study easy rider hello fresh wealth social media crime home ownership office challenge Western Australia personal growth communities baby name trends deloitte leadership sentiments sydneysider Wagga Wagga suburb christianity census mover and shaker Wodonga career EFF 2016 census results etiquette faux-cilising organisations media release eliane miles cooking wolloomooloo 2016 census rain church define wage story work-life acf15 tea speaker consumer Wellington environment energy business The ABC of XYZ woolworths home crows nest priorities vegemite wellbeing future of work VET sector proactive Melbourne demographics interactive ideas Financial Planning Week royal family jobs students in the media Christmas lunch visual spend states cultural diversity tips townhouses responsive property price entertainment names IT Specialists Real Estate Institute of Victoria cancelling event Christchurch overcast Australia Day NEETs leadership workshop nfp panel staff perth potts point Sydney keynote speaker video the average aussie professional presenters aged care puzzle communication average sydneysider pyrmont conference winter program social issues teach housing market daily telegraph moreton bay cloudy days social future presentation Australian Families men Royals VET pharmacies demographic parenting healthy future future proof ipswich economy online shopping World Water Day equip dreaming education research social lives sydney event engagement snapshot research visualisation Kiwi New Zealand cars ABS identity ultimo spirituality social research population milestone neutral bay Sydney Hills Business Chamber jobs of the future religion holiday event infographics entrepreneurial Australian Population shopping learn Births housing trends stay home Vocational education social life Bathburst Netflix house future proofing mccrindle in the media housing australian social research twentyseventeen state long weekend community engagement dare to dream student demographic trends experience Assistant Store Manager buildings google for education schools quote going out clothing life 24,000,000 SRE family land of the middle class urban living infographic wall sydney metro networking wedding Scouts pharmacy housing affordability slideshare huffington post eliane earnings award winner earn blaxland optimistic environmental scanning mccrindle research know the times mother's day education cancelling plans fresh financial dreams child care hornsby aussie culture average aussie national crime rates census fail grandparents wealth and income distribution suburbs keynote organisational culture travel Australian Communities Trends financial future future of education australians staying home more 2016 easter VIC internship social commentary socialites local community Northern beaches Event thrive impact families earning TDE shopping centre census data Tuesday Trend medicine Merry Christmas car recap FOMO meals Charlotte travelling baby boomers monarchy survey design trades food millenials growth Northern Territory community learner royal influence mortgage waverton vegetarian news average Australian faith entrepreneurs of today supply and demand NSW training Caregiver work mates Christmas presents capital city speakers baby boom world youth day forecast James Ward Australian Census affordability demographic transformations housing growth sustainable commute rise of local 2017 group consumerism generation Z population map customer australian communities forum Deaths charity relational world marriages bureau focus groups data analyst urban living index presentations Crime Rates professional January 26th father's day hopes gen alpha emerging trends thought leadership qualitative research mythbusting office space Andrew Duffin lifestyle baby baby name predictions tv domestic living generations 1980 education future report baby name Population Clock balance Research Director annual income February 16 Word Up internet Australian demographics the hills shire unemployment language ashley fell apartments learning schools students rent retirement cartodb product the hills tertiary education income rich teaching results megatrends home owner work house price technology young australians 1975 research report 1994 professional speaker shbc Real Estate commuters careers futurist 23 million lalor park ACF 2016 insight CPI global generations ageing population DIY relevant finance bondi data visualisation brand hobart tattoos norwest high density cash the australian dream researcher micro apartments hills apartment new office demographer contiki SA collaboration teachers Northern Beaches Christian School "know the times" debt mythbusters CBD politics 10 years school satisfaction Australian schools dessert global financial crisis local communities Financial Planning Association of Australia newspaper storytelling government alpha REIV National Conference menai ferry Generation X 2012 future of shopping curiosity staying in ACF innovative school public holiday social enquiry gender urban taskforce Australia street innovation research data friends low density population happiness speakers pack renter of the future Australians public speaking repayments Gen X motivate WA changing face of sydney optus my business awards investing growing population volunteers research brand experience youth unemployment census 2016 trend gen z cold friendship debate divorce rate stats youth publication weekly earnings rental stress Macquarie University TED talk Do It Yourself Hornsby Shire Council 24 million capital cities Aussies sydneysiders dream research pack rising house prices NBRS Architecture business performance offenders TED educhat kate middleton economic communicate Hills Shire Council year 7 young people financial independence infographic optus weather baby names australia report public speaker award owning a home market research Sydney typical australian New Zeland breakfast Geoff Brailey resource investment middle class the great screenage social commentator sector wide Love poor case study princess charlotte change population growth cultural diveristy Education Future Forum English professional development social researcher group session focus group cica digital authenticity women Tuesday Trends sunny days media commentary employment participants #censusfail belief South Australia JOMO internships society educated anzac facts engage house prices screenage skills mccrindle children social impact Queensland: QLD urban PSI goals seasons grave decision household Australian communities omnibus wealth distribution non profit Channel 7 graphs social trends Australian Trends christmas tuesday teleworking australia not-for-profit statistics mining boom Australia Day 2017 not for profit wealth and income moderators guide professional services Christmas season financial fears Engineering Manager paying to work Kirsten Brewer study 2013 2020 sydney speaker small business FPA darwin Generation Y national wealth society trends poker master global plans logan house price rise forecasting local research services royal NT Aussie purpose high density living business index sun fears victoria learning styles residents showreel forum gold coast brands Territory intern conferences keynote speaker culturally diverse sports Australian Dream report DESTEL royal baby Social Trend culture follow Financial Planning Association sydneycity generational trends high school ethnography social analysis litter transport census results Myth national private wealth toys Northern Beaches university degree Valentine’s Day ease of travel divorce Research Executive outsourcing list faux-cilise Canberra SMART train criminal area Work place Australian Bureau of Statistics conference presentation System's Architect baby names report Adelaide coffee university Skilling shopper's pick HSC sector analysis google employers summer Res Vis demography 2015 water resilience NBRS online marrickville Duchess of Cambridge Tasmania sunburnt country salary SMSF Gen Y socialising emerging generations social researchers TEDx school students Channel Seven safe builders property leader households narcissism 1968 marketing brisbane events entrepreneur insights aged care investor budget financial workplace culture Mark McCrindle click The Daily Edition selfie post rationalism real prince george survey village teacher mentor media activity office opening generation alpha mateship parents GPO high density apartments trend tuesday increasing densification communications cost visualisation hills shire ACT christian baby names rule keeper marriage workshop millennials holidays sydney hills emerging technologies millionth bus meetings renting social shifts property market ashley mckenzie collaborative new york times Australian Home faux-ciliser geomapping mccrindle tea McCrindle Speakers unaffordable year 12 couple the changing face of personalities generation trends city daily commute REIV Conference trends analyst in depth interviews New South Wales manly 40 million affordable ageing workplace 2014 micro data shifts cost of living future-proof education sector celebration tableau education future trends of 2017 Queensland community event workforce wages mobile